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Saturday, 6 October, 2001, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
England joined by brave Kirsty
The six-year-old is "inspirational"
Captain David Beckham was joined by six-year-old Kirsty Howard as he led out the England team at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The youngster is terminally ill after being born with a rare condition in which her heart is back-to-front, among other complications.

She walked onto the pitch dressed in a Greece strip and linked to the 45lb oxygen cylinder to which she must be attached to stay alive.


Kirsty was given a kiss by captain David Beckham

She held hands with Beckham during the England and Greece national anthems, and smiled to the crowds and the cameras. He later bent down and gave her a kiss.

Kirsty was chosen by the Football Association as England mascot for the World Cup qualifier against Greece, back in September.

One FA official told newspapers: ""We can't think of a better youngster to be our mascot. She is truly inspirational."

Kirsty is fronting a 5m fund-raising appeal for Manchester's Francis House children's hospice, for which she has already raised more than 1m.

The devoted Manchester United fan is no stranger to the media spotlight.

During her fund-raising trips she has met Coronation Street star Bill Tarmey (Jack Duckworth), former England captain Kevin Keegan and Harrods boss Mohammed al-Fayed.

She has also had tea in Downing Street with Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie.

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